Jan 25, 2021

What Can’t I Put In a Storage Unit

What Can't I Put In a Storage Unit Featured Image

Using a storage unit is a great way to store things both temporarily and for long lengths of time. Over the years of renting storage units to people, we have gotten many questions about what people can and cannot store. We always recommend that if you have a question about what you can store, please ask! We would much rather answer your questions about what you can store in advance instead of storing something that can cause damage to deal with later.

Some things are simply illegal to store and cause problems because they are often left behind. Other items like tires and appliances have a high cost of disposal with a customer renting a storage unit, filling it with those items only to be abandoned or the storage facility owner to pay to remove. Some items can cause damage from pests and others have potent smells that can be absorbed by other items in storage.

Remember that your storage facility is a “community living environment” just like living in an apartment or home, where you have neighbors to consider. With your storage unit neighbor’s unit right next to you, please recognize that what you put in our unit, can impact your neighbor!

Perishable Items

It is important to make sure you aren’t storing anything food-related. This can be anything from human food, pet food, birdseed, lawn seed, lawn fertilizer. Basically, anything edible for you or an animal should not be kept in your storage unit. Always double-check food and birdseed containers to make sure they are empty before putting them into storage. Please don’t bring partial bags of any of these items to your storage unit. Toss out or give to your neighbor!

Putting perishable items into storage will invite unwanted guests into your storage unit. Mice and other rodents are always looking for reasons to get inside of a storage unit. Putting a convenient food source into your storage unit is a sure-fire way to get rodents inside your storage unit.


You are allowed one set of four tires into your storage unit. Tires are notoriously hard to get rid of and often get left behind. This is why many storage facilities have this rule in place. We understand that you might want to store your snow tires in your storage unit. That is why it is allowed to have four tires to protect the storage facilities in case you abandon your belongings.

Scented or Wet Items

Scented items like candles, incense, or essential oils all have smells that may be nice to you but your storage neighbor might not feel the same. Some scents can attract insects and other pests. You may think that you have packaged them away well but what if one of the oils breaks open. Now all the things in your storage unit are susceptible to the smell of whatever broke.

You never want to store wet items in your storage unit either as may never dry properly and create mold and mildew. The smell of mold and mildew is one of the toughest to get rid of. It will make everything else smell that’s inside your storage unit.

Gas and Oil Tanks

It is important to remember that renting a storage unit is like renting an apartment. You have shared walls with your neighbors and smells can carry from one unit to the next. We have also seen when a leak has gone from a mower in one storage unit under the wall into another. When storing small engine equipment make sure to empty the gas and oil tanks. This will help you prevent any major spills. It will also help you when you pull your equipment back out in the spring.

Combustible, Flammable, Hazardous, or Toxic Materials

You may think of the obvious items like kerosene, gas, propane, or grease. But there are many other chemicals that are prohibited in storage. Fertilizers, cleaners, paints, and asbestos should never be kept in a storage unit. These items are especially dangerous. They can create toxic fumes that are highly flammable making them a big don’t store item.

Explosives, Fireworks, Ammunition

If you have unused fireworks from last Fourth of July keep them out of your storage unit. This is not where you should store them. The same goes for explosives and ammunition. They should not be in your storage unit.

Unregistered or Uninsured Vehicles

To store a vehicle, it needs to be registered and insured. Whether it is a car, boat, or snowmobile. They need to be registered to put into storage. We will ask you to confirm on your lease proof of insurance.

Gas and Oil Tanks

It is important to remember that renting a storage unit is like renting an apartment. You have shared walls with your neighbors and smells can carry from one unit to the next. We have also seen when a leak has gone from a mower in one storage unit under the wall into another.

Illegal Drugs and Stolen Property

This is self-explanatory. If it is illegal or stolen it can’t go into storage. It is also smart not to store these things as many storage facilities have cameras that can see throughout the facilities.


It is illegal to live in a storage facility. It is also illegal to store anything living in your storage unit. You cannot keep your pets or livestock inside a storage unit.

Property Insurance

Always remember to consult your insurance agent about what kind of coverage suits you best. We want to make sure that you are protected in case something happens. Many people’s renters or homeowner policies cover storage units, but it is best to check with your insurance policy. Every policy is different, and your insurance company may need to be notified to put that portion of your policy in place.

AppleWood Message

At AppleWood Self storage we spend a lot of time with each customer on educating best practices and what not to store. In fact, each of our units has a bright yellow “What Not to Store” decal posted inside the storage unit. During all showings, we point this decal out and have the customer read it. While in our office signing the lease, we also ask the customer to take a picture of the decal. We also email a PDF to the customer with our “Welcome Email”. It is important to us that your stuff stays safe. Our hope is that through the proper education of our customers we can create a safe and stress-free storage environment for your things.